If a recent break up isn’t bad enough, having it happen around the holidays can be sheer torture. We’ve come up with several sure fire strategies for those coping with a recent breakup that will help you survive the upcoming holidays.
Our first strategy that we suggest you use is that of trying to anticipate the inevitable questions and have several canned responses ready.
It can certainly be tempting to just skip some of the festivities altogether, but coming together with your ‘tribe’ could well turn out to be one of the most affirming and encouraging things you could possibly do with your time. It can be truly daunting to face nosy family members or get togethers essentially designed for couples – and believe me, I think we’ve all known the discomfort of facing them as a ‘single’ – but sometimes the worst part is dreading it ahead of time.
Assuming that you want to enjoy the festivities without having to get into an in depth discussion about what happened, one example of a canned response could be something along the lines of ‘I would love to share with you about that sometime, maybe over lunch or a cup of coffee, but what I would really love to talk about right now is how you are and what you’ve been up to. What’s new with you?’
It’s a really graceful way to let people know that they’re not being shut out or that the subject is closed for discussion, but instead that the occasion just isn’t right for it. One of the things this will do is help separate the simply curious from the genuinely caring. The genuinely caring will follow up and make a date; the simply curious won’t.
The second strategy we recommend is known as transparency. This can be particularly helpful if you find yourself having to field the question within earshot of someone that you’ve already used your canned response on. Using transparency in this instance could mean that you simply share something along the lines of how it’s important to you that the occasion be about the people that you’re with and you would just rather not talk about your Ex any more than you absolutely have to..
How cool is that? It’s just such a powerful way to draw that boundary in a way that says ‘I’m here because my relationship to you is important.’
The third and final strategy we recommend is that you plan on being gentle with yourself throughout the holiday season. The holidays are overwhelming with their expectations and we all have to deal with our own on top of the ones that other people have for us, too.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it – but that’s an entirely different article!) – life doesn’t live up to the fantasy. Being gentle with yourself means that whatever happens you just work at making it ok. It’s ok for you to have expectations and its ok for other people to have expectations, and its ok when they’re not lived up to.
And it’s even ok that there will be times when it’s not ok, and that nothing you do can will make it ok. Make THAT ok.
The idea is to give yourself permission to be authentic and honest with yourself about whatever it is that is going on for you. One of the biggest ways that will empower you is because you will now be able to be sensitive to what you need to do to take of yourself, whether it’s leaving a party early, turning down a get together altogether, or going and having the time of your life.
Life is so short – the opportunity each of us has is to cherish every moment while you can. You will never have THIS holiday season again – so don’t miss a single minute more of it than you absolutely have to!